Open Heart Church of the Nazarene


The Empty Tomb

Posted by [email protected] on April 1, 2021 at 11:05 PM

The Empty Tomb

John 20:1-18


After you bury someone you love, how do you deal with your grief?

Do you find comfort in going out to the cemetery?



1 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.

2 So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb.

4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.

5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in.

6 Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen.

8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed.

9 (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)




What would be Mary’s emotional state two days after the Cross, after she saw the torturous death of Jesus?


Would you be sleepless?


Why would you visit the tomb so early in the morning?


How do you react finding the body gone?

What does the other disciple (John) believe? Why?

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene


10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.

11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”

14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).

17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ”

18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.


So….when did Mary get back to the tomb?


Think maybe the disciples ran faster than she did?


Why was Mary crying?


Would you have responded more like Mary or the Disciples?


Was Mary quietly grieving or more hysterical?


What finally breaks thru her grief and confusion?


How does her return to the disciples here contrast to that in verse 2?

2 … “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

18… I have seen the Lord!

What term does Jesus use for the disciples here? {My Brothers}


How does this relate to what he said in 15:15?


15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.


What is new in their relationship from now on?




When you bury someone you dearly love, how does the fact of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead help you to deal with your own pain?


What do you rely on for evidence that Jesus is the Son of God and that he rose from the dead?


How did you feel after your beloved friend or family died?


Did God help you in this feeling of grief?


Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons, appears first in the scene-a touching expression of the ways of God. She represents, I doubt not, the Jewish remnant of that day, personally attached to the Lord, but not knowing the power of resurrection. She is alone in her love: the very strength of her affection isolates her. She was not the only one saved, but she comes alone to seek-wrongly to seek, if you will, but to seek-Jesus, before the testimony of His glory shines forth in a world of darkness, because she loved Himself. She comes before the other women, while it was yet dark. It is a loving heart (we have already seen it in the believing women) occupied with Jesus, when the public testimony of man is still entirely wanting. And it is to this that Jesus first manifests Himself when He is risen. Nevertheless, her heart knew where it would find a response. She goes away to Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, when she does not find the body of Christ. Peter and the other disciple go, and find the proofs of a resurrection accomplished (as to Jesus Himself) with all the composure that became the power of God, great as the alarm might be that it created in the mind of man. There had been no haste; everything was in order: and Jesus was not there.

The two disciples, however, are not moved by the same attachment as that which filled her heart, who had been the object of so mighty a deliverance on the Lord's part. They see, and, on these visible proofs, they believe. It was not a spiritual understanding of the thoughts of God by means of His word; they saw and believed. There is nothing in this which gathers the disciples together. Jesus was away; He had risen. They had satisfied themselves on this point, and they go away to their home. But Mary, led by affection rather than by intelligence, is not satisfied with coldly recognizing that Jesus was again risen. She thought Him still dead, because she did not possess Him.

His death, the fact of her not finding Him again, added to the intensity of her affection, because He Himself was its object. All the tokens of this affection are produced here in the most touching manner. She supposes that the gardener must know who was in question without her telling him, for she only thought of one (as if I inquired of a beloved object in a family, "How is he?"). Bending over the sepulchre, she turns her head when He approaches; but then the Good Shepherd, risen from the dead, calls His sheep by her name; and the known and loved voice-mighty according to the grace which thus called her-instantly reveals Him to her who heard it. She turns to Him, and replies, "Rabboni-my Master."

But while thus revealing Himself to the beloved remnant, whom He had delivered, all is changed in their position and in His relationship with them. He was not going now to dwell bodily in the midst of His people on earth. He did not come back to re-establish the kingdom in Israel. "Touch me not," says He to Mary. But by redemption He had wrought a far more important thing. He had placed them in the same position as Himself with His Father and His God; and He calls them-which He never had, and never could have done before-His brethren. Until His death the corn of wheat remained alone. Pure and perfect, the Son of God, He could not stand in the same relationship to God as the sinner; but, in the glorious position which He was going to resume as man, He could, through redemption, associate with Himself His redeemed ones, cleansed, regenerated, and adopted in Him.

That is us this day.

We have been bought with a price, and redeemed, cleansed and regenerated, adopted into the family of God.





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